Money Can Buy Happiness Sort of

By Jessica Reinhart

It turns out the old adage "money doesn’t buy happiness" isn’t exactly true. While money spent on yourself probably won’t do much to boost your spirits, spending money on others can actually make you happier.

A recent study, published in the journal Science, concluded that spending money on charitable donations or gifts for others yields substantially more happiness than spending money on oneself. If the surge of happiness that comes from giving is enough to make you reach for your wallet, here are just a few ways you can make a difference:

Support a worthy cause. Deciding to donate is the easy part—choosing which charity to support may be a bit more difficult. That’s why we love the Network for Good giving system. Network for Good is a Web site that helps you find and donate to more than one million charities worldwide based on your specific areas of interest. And, as an added bonus, your donation records are stored for easy access when it’s time to do your taxes.

Cook up something special. Know someone who recently had a baby, is sick, or just down on their luck? The next time you find yourself saying "I wish there was something I could do", consider making a home cooked meal and delivering it to their doorstep.

Pay it forward. The simple premise is to make the world a better place by doing good deeds for others. Here are a few ideas to get you started: 1. Buy lunch for a homeless person; 2. Buy pet food or supplies for animals at the pound; 3. Give a lottery ticket to a stranger; or 4. Pick up someone’s tab at a restaurant. You can brighten someone’s day and grab a little happiness fo yourself, as well.

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